Become a council Member

The Texas Governor appoints individuals to the 27-member board of Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. At least 60% of the Council members must be persons with developmental disabilities, their parents or guardians, and other immediate relatives.

The Council also includes representatives from the major state agencies that serve people with developmental disabilities; a representative from the state’s two university centers for excellence in developmental disabilities, the Texas Center for Disability Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University; a representative from the state’s protection and advocacy system, Disability Rights Texas; and a member representing local, non-government organizations.

Developmental disability councils are funded on a formula basis, mostly related to the state’s population. Approximately 70% of TCDD’s funds are awarded to about 50 grants each year that address a variety of topics, such as employment, education, positive behavioral intervention and supports, family support, transportation, health care, self-determination, accessible housing, and leadership and advocacy training.

The mission of TCDD is to create change so that all people with disabilities are fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives. All Council activities are expected to support the TCDD vision, purpose and mission statement.

Council Member Responsibilities

The Council serves as the governing board of TCDD and is responsible to approve annual budgets; grants projects and other activities to implement the Council-approved State Plan; public policy priorities that focus TCDD staff advocacy efforts with state agencies, the Texas Legislature and other venues; and other governance matters.

  • The Council engages in advocacy and planning activities, supports model projects that serve as prototypes for future programs around the state, fosters public awareness and community acceptance through education, and seeks consumer involvement in Council activities.
  • In addition to serving on the full Council, members are also expected to serve on either the Project Development Committee or the Public Policy Committee. These committees and the full Council meet quarterly; meetings are usually in Austin on the first Thursday and Friday in February, May, August and November. Meeting schedules, agendas and minutes are available on the TCDD website.
  • Council members may also be asked to serve on special committees or task forces of the Council, to provide educational information to the Texas Legislature and public agencies or at other public forums, and to represent the Council at other meetings or conferences relevant to people with developmental disabilities.
  • Council members serve without salary, but are entitled to reimbursement for actual expenses for all approved activities, as allowed by the Legislature. Examples of covered expenses include meals, lodging and travel for the appointee and attendant; and, if applicable, respite care and other direct expenses.
  • Governor-appointed Council members serve staggered terms of six years. The Governor designates a member of the Council to be the chair. Council members are eligible to serve no more than two consecutive six-year terms.

Council Member Appointment Process

The Governor appoints board and advisory committee members for numerous positions on state agencies and other entities, including TCDD. If you would like to serve in any of these positions, you must complete an application and mail it to the Office of the Texas Governor Contact Info. The appointments, staff is especially interested in recruiting qualified applicants who reflect the state’s cultural, ethnic and geographic diversity.

Council Member Application

If you would like to apply to serve on the Council, follow the instructions on the Office of the Texas Governor Appointments Application Process webpage. The Governor’s office will send you an acknowledgement when your application is received. When it is time for the Governor to make an appointment in which you have expressed interest, the background and qualifications of all applicants are reviewed.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about being a Council member of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD).

The Council meets quarterly for two days in the Austin area. Between meetings, Council members have the opportunity to participate in meetings and conferences, attend grantee events, and may be asked to provide input on state disability issues. To get an idea about the structure of a quarterly meeting, visit the Council Meetings webpage.

New Council members attend an orientation. Also, members attend presentations and receive advocacy training during Council Meetings, and staff members provide ongoing support. New members can also receive information and assistance from other Council members.

No, but Council members are reimbursed for travel expenses per state guidelines. This can also include attendant or respite care services.

You are the expert in your own life and have your own personal experiences and talents to share. The Council values all viewpoints from diverse groups.

Someone who is passionate about improving the lives of people with disabilities. Also, it helps to be a good listener, have ideas, and enjoy being part of a team.

Per the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Act, 60% of Council members are people with disabilities or family members of people with disabilities. The other 40% are representatives from state agencies and non-governmental disability-related organizations who provide services and supports to individuals with disabilities.

Our goal is to find gaps in the system and fund specific demonstration projects that address the gaps so people with disabilities are included in all aspects of daily life. This includes finding ways to help individuals make friends, go to college, go to work, and be healthy. Learn more about what guides our work on the Mission and Guiding Principles webpage. Learn about the impact of our current and past projects on the Projects webpage.

The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is the federal agency that sets the goals for all 56 DD Councils, including TCDD. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) provides administrative support for TCDD.

Council members are appointed by the Governor and serve as a Board of Directors. Staff members are full-time employees.

No, all of the Council’s meetings are open to the public and subject to the Open Meetings Act.

The Council is not political or partisan and our mission is established by the federal DD Act. Our Council is responsible for educating decision makers, like elected officials in the Texas Legislature, on how policies may impact individuals with developmental disabilities. Learn more about our direction from the DD Act on the Legal Authorization webpage.

After completing a short application, the Governor’s appointments office will receive your application and notify applicants if they are selected. The specific time length can vary but usually takes a few months.

No, but TCDD staff are available to assist individuals with completing the application.


If you have more questions about Council membership, please ask Koren Vogel at (512) 437-5416 or email koren.vogel@tcdd.texas.gov.